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What does Digital Marketing in South Africa look like today?

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Digital Marketing around the world is at different stages of advancement, from the highly competitive online world in the UK and the US to the less established but rapidly growing scene in countries like South Africa.
In this article, we’re going to pick the brains of James Williams, the Head of Digital Marketing at online loan provider Wonga South Africa, to see what the world of Digital Marketing looks like today, and how it compares to some of the world’s most developed online markets.

Having worked in Digital Marketing in London for a number of years before returning to his native South Africa to take the reigns at Wonga, James is perfectly positioned to compare the two. These are his thoughts…

The importance of culture

One of the key lessons James learned when moving from the UK to the South African market was the importance of culture, and how this affects just about everything you do online. Businesses often talk about ‘localising’ their online assets when expanding into foreign markets and this same process needs to be used to adapt their digital marketing efforts.

When talking about localising assets, it means adapting a product, service or piece of content to meet the needs of a particular language, culture or desired population’s ‘look-and-feel’. The same needs to be done to a business’s Digital Marketing strategy.

In South Africa, there are 11 different languages, each tied to a very different culture. That makes the outreach process much more challenging than in a single language market like the UK. James found that the strategies that were working well in London were producing mediocre engagement rates in South Africa. Instead, James had to almost forget the techniques that had worked before and try new strategies, explore new territory and collect fresh data to help him decide the best approaches to take.

Choosing the right language

Another important consideration for businesses operating online in South Africa is what language to use to attract the greatest level of engagement. The vast majority of South Africans can speak English, but the use of Afrikaans online is currently growing rapidly. That means companies with the resources to do so would be wise to produce all their online assets in both English and Afrikaans.

The primary language used online can also change significantly from location to location. For example, the Western Cape area is largely Afrikaans speaking, while the province of KwaZulu Natal is predominantly Zulu. Digital Marketing campaigns need to reflect this if they are to be successful.

The burgeoning digital scene

One of the biggest benefits of the South African digital scene is the fact that it’s still very much in its infancy when compared to the US and UK. That’s actually a good thing because it means the consumer hasn’t yet been exposed to the huge amount of low-quality content marketing that is all over the internet in the UK. So, when you do create a quality campaign in South Africa, you tend to get the rewards it deserves. In the UK or the US, it is much easier for the quality campaigns to be lost among the bad digital practices that can be found all over the web.

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Matthew McConaughey explains why he’s inspired by Marc Benioff’s ‘new capitalism’

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Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff has burnished his reputation amid the COVID-19 pandemic as an outspoken advocate for a “new capitalism” that improves social welfare, and he has used his resources to develop contact-tracing technology and donate 1 million masks.

That commitment to “stakeholder capitalism” caught the attention of actor and investor Matthew McConaughey, who told Yahoo Finance that Benioff “inspired” him to embrace the notion that business ventures can both generate profit and promote the common good.

“I’m all for making money — I have good money. I’m all for fame — I’m happy to be famous,” says McConaughey, author of a new memoir called “Greenlights.” “But I’m inspired by looking at people like a [CEO] John Mackey with Whole Foods or Marc Benioff at Salesforce that go, ‘Hey, I have an idea that’s really good to do, even if it was for nonprofit, but let’s make profit off of it.”

McConaughey elaborated on the mentality embodied by Benioff: “I want to make money off this. I want to get rich off this. And how can we parlay that to being something like, ‘Oh, and it’s good for the most amount of people.”

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Government, religion, the economy and capitalism

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Mr. Selby, Mr. Bloom, and Pastor Biller have brought an interesting conversation on governing, religion and the economy to this page.

Governing. The U.S. Constitution establishes a representative Republican form of governing the USA and in each state. The power to democratically elect their representatives for governing resides in the people and the right of one person, one vote for all citizens, regardless of religious or spiritual affiliation, ethnic origin, orientation or gender. The Declaration of Independence plays no role in our governing design.

Religion. The First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free expression thereof.” After the war over secession, there have been efforts to amend the Constitution to declare the USA a Christian nation. All of those efforts have failed, reinforcing the USA as a nation of religious and spiritual diversity.

The economy. Nothing in the Constitution specifies that the USA must have a certain type of economic system and certainly not that it must be capitalism, however defined. We have a wide range of choices available to us for our economy. At one extreme would be an economy where there is a totally free market system where all ownership of all property is held privately by individuals. There is no government, consequently there are no regulations and no taxes. Individuals and corporations are free to do whatever they wish as there are no constraints on their actions. It is essentially anarchy. At the other extreme is an economy where the national government owns everything and dictates all production and prices. This other extreme is equally odious as there is no individual freedom, only the government as the absolute dictator of activities.

In between these two extremes, however, we have a wide range of possibilities for our economy, politically and socially. Capitalism encompasses a fairly wide segment of that range. “Capital” can be property, plant, equipment, patents, trademarks, inventories, stocks, bonds and cash. Fundamentally, capitalism is a means of wealth accumulation for those who have sufficient capital to put it to work earning more capital. Those who have little or no free capital are employees in that wealth accumulation process.

There are, however, opportunities for imaginative entrepreneurs to break into the capitalist elite. Unfortunately, over the past 50 years in the USA, the wealth gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us has risen dramatically.

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Where is Capitalism’s Superiority Now?

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HAVANA TIMES – I have been hearing capitalist propaganda’s clamoring about how this system is here forever, because it’s the best option out there. It supposedly offers the most opportunities and freedom, upholds democracy and defends human rights, while, socialism is a failure, and has no future.

However, it is becoming clearer and clearer for us to see how capitalism is marching towards a general crisis, which will inevitably lead to its demise.

From an economic standpoint, there is no way that a government can survive if the rich only get richer and the poor only get poorer. A government where thousands of workers end up unemployed every time there is a crisis. Also losing their homes because they can’t afford rent and ending up on the street like the homeless.

Others have to pay for health care, which is very expensive. If they get really sick, they end up losing everything or being stuck in debt for the rest of their life.

The same goes for education, because the only quality education systems in much of the world are private and expensive. Public universities in the US aren’t free, you have to pay, and students end up in debt for many years.

In terms of democracy, it’s just a big fat lie. A democracy is a people’s government for the people. However, in capitalism, a country is governed for capital, for the rich. The only thing ordinary people can do is vote in elections, for a candidate they often don’t know, and they have no idea what they will do once in office.

Leaders in capitalist countries fill their pockets, because pretty much all of them are corrupt. When elections favor more progressive candidates who are genuinely concerned about the general population, the Right refuses to recognize the results and turns to violence or a coup d’etat. Is this a democracy?

There are plenty of examples, but I’ll only mention the more renowned. For example, Evo Morales won the elections in Bolivia a year ago, in the first round, but was accused of fraud. This happened with the OAS getting involved, and the armed forces were incited to carry out a coup d’etat.

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